Wednesday, 31 January 2018

"The Maze Effect: Finding Mr Right" by Majel Jay. Contemporary Romance

The Maze Effect: Finding Mr. Right
by Majel Jay 

Every woman wants the perfect man... or at the very least, a decent man.

“Mr. Right”
How do you find him?
What does he look like?
Is there a formula to know who he is?

Just ask Kimberly Kay Nezda, a successful young diva with a budding career in a big city. She had it all or so she thought. She had many encounters and was confident she had finally found Mr. Right.
A rich, handsome, suitor, the mark of perfection, but did she let him walk “The Maze?”
Was it the perfect love story or the perfect storm?

The Maze Effect is a steamy, riveting, short story about dating, sex and falling in love. You’ll be captivated as you read Kimberly’s story of an epic life-changing journey into love and finding Mr. Right.


“Yes, yes, very sweet and endearing, now please leave, the dog is drinking up all the milk and I gotta go!” I began pushing the door close with him on the other side. Damn, it wouldn’t move. Did he have his damn foot stuck in it or what? That’s a serial killer move!! Shit, what did I get myself into now and where is my damn rape whistle!!
The Maze Effect: Finding Mr. Right
by Majel Jay 

ASIN: B0792656KC

Sunday, 26 November 2017


Mia Mae Lynne is a self-published independent author of the multicultural romance series “Southern Men Don’t Fall In Love” It is based around metro Atlanta, GA. Main characters appear in and out of other books in the series. It’s about romance, family and relationships.
If you are able to receive books in the Kindle format, below are links to free downloads so romance readers can mark their calendars and receive the titles. 
Upcoming Kindle Free promotions are listed below.
Atlanta’s Most Eligible Bachelor (254 pages) – November 30 – December 2nd (Pretty Clean)
Douglas Arthur Bader “Atlanta’s Most Eligible Bachelor” has it all. His career was on the rise at Whitman Stacks, LLC., a law firm located on the perimeter of Atlanta. His cell phone rang constantly of women who wanted to possess the man with deep blue eyes and sandy blonde hair. Women of all ages fell for his boyishly handsome good looks and his impeccable manners. He was elusive to any type of commitment. “Three date max” was his motto until crossing paths with Lisa Dunbar.
Lisa Dunbar After a moderately successful career as a traveling professional soccer player, Lisa has finally come home to settle down and start her career as a newly licensed CPA in Atlanta. She is hired at Grant & Co. CPA’s by Mona Grant. Staunchly independent, Lisa takes life’s challenges as they come. She’s satisfied with her single status as an African American woman and has no time to look for love. Her chance meeting with a man that she only knows as a commitment phobic bachelor alters her plans for her future.
The meeting, explosive. The romance intense. This first book in the “Southern Men Don’t Fall In Love” series explores how fate can set the time and place for a romance to begin.

Atlanta’s Most Eligible Bachelor II (201 pages) – December 8 – 10 – (Sketchy clean – Not Clean)
Beautiful and successful, Lisa Dunbar didn’t need anyone or want anyone until she met Doug Bader, Atlanta’s Most Eligible Bachelor. The lawyer was nothing that she thought she’d ever want. Stuck up, conceited, commitment phobic, and white. When she said it was over to her family, she never expected for him to propose that same week. And never expected that she’d say yes so easily to his Southern charm.

Doug Bader, pride of Whitman Stacks’ legal team, has never been more serious than the moment he asked Lisa to marry him. And he couldn’t be happier about that choice. With her smart attitude, strong personality, and deep convictions, she’s the perfect woman for him, no matter what anyone says about the color of her skin.
But now, with unexpected news on the way and their families weighing in on the intensity of their relationship, will the love Doug and Lisa share between them be enough to withstand the wait to their wedding, or will their Southern Romance fizzle and burn out under the hot Atlanta sun?
Thank you for considering my books and please share the opportunity with others.
Take Care and Happy Reading
Mia Mae Lynne

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Bound To Them by Peyton Brittany Clarke- He's A Sub With A Past #BDSM #Cowboys #RomanceNovel #MMF

[Siren Menage Amour: Erotic Consensual Cowboy BDSM Menage a Trois Romance, M/M/F, HEA]

Jake Hargate is a man with a past. Born into a rich and powerful political family in Massachusetts, they were all raised to believe one thing: protect the family's interests at all costs. After leaving that life behind, Jake finds love and happiness married to Max Krause, a Dom, and Ally Renjel, a submissive. Being Max's submissive gives Jake the security he needs, and topping Ally gives him the control he craves.

But when a political scandal threatens to ruin Jake's brother, a prominent governor who hopes to move up the political ladder, Jake is drawn into a dark world of vengeance he swore he'd never enter again. Jake's family gives him a choice: help them or risk the life he cherishes with Max and Ally.

Deciding to do whatever it takes to protect Max and Ally, Jake is drawn into a world of darkness. Will Max and Ally be able to rescue him, or will Jake be lost forever?

Note: This book contains double vaginal penetration. 

 A Siren Erotic Romance


Lear went to his favorite chair and sat down. He leaned back, crossed one leg over the other, and tapped his fingers on his thigh. If Baldwin’s marriage fell apart, his own life would go to crap. Not only would he be out of a very cushy, well paying job but he’d also lose access to the best pussy he’d had in a long time and the child it produced.

It was better for everyone to keep everything moving forward as planned. And in order to do that they had to make sure the public kept believing that Baldwin and Eleanor were happy and very much in love despite the rumors. Problem was Phoebe Jones was determined to get to the bottom of this affair thing and ferret out the truth.

“Phoebe may be snooping around, but she doesn’t know anything yet.”

“Tell that to my press secretary,” Baldwin said dryly. “She’s been fielding calls from that woman every day. And we’re both tired of it.”

I bet you are. It’s probably because it’s interrupting your fuck sessions.

“Really? I thought you liked having a reporter on your ass day and night.” Lear grinned savoring the little jab. His brother was a namby-pamby, he needed to have a little dirt shoved in his face on occasion.

As Baldwin’s senior adviser, aka crisis manager, it was his job to watch Baldwin’s back at all times. When there was trouble, he handled it. Why this escaped Baldwin’s brain now irked him.

“Fuck you too, Lear.”

“Whatever.” Lear checked his watch. He hoped he’d be able to get the airport early, so they could take off ahead of schedule. He reasoned it wouldn’t matter too much if he was late since he was using Baldwin’s private jet. “Are you done losing your mind? Because I have a job to do so back off and let me do it.”

He pulled the phone away from his ear while his brother yelled and ranted. He rolled his eyes as he waited for his brother’s caterwauling to end.

“Feel better?” Lear asked.

“For now, assuming you do your damn job,” Baldwin said. “How are you going to fix this?”

“Do you really want to know, or do you want to see the result?”

“Of course I want to know,” Baldwin snapped. “That’s why I’m talking to you.”

A smart politician would have said no, preferring to keep his hands clean, but not Baldwin. He was too controlling for his own good. In forty-two years, Baldwin had not changed one bit. He was still as high-handed as ever despite the everyman persona he showed to the public. His arrogant and dictatorial manner was legendary among his staffers and the servants that kept his house in tip top shape.

Lear knew Baldwin thought of him as just another lackey to do his bidding and not a partner in his bid for the White House. If there weren’t bigger things at stake, he would have dropped Baldwin a long time ago, leaving the asshole and his lofty political ambitions far behind.

“I’m going to use Dalcourt,” Lear said.

“What about him?” Baldwin asked.

“He’ll get that reporter and anyone else she’s alerted off of your back,” Lear said. “They’ll be too busy tearing apart his life to even think about you or your...friend.”

“Dalcourt is your big solution? I knew I should have went with Smith.”

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” Lear asked.

“It means it’s a stupid idea. He’s not going to roll over and play dead for you,” Baldwin said.

“Yes he will,” Lear said. My talent is wasted working for him.


“Because he will. God, man you are infuriating. Father always said you had the brain of an ox.”

“I won’t say what he said about you. Mostly because it will piss you off too much and I still need your help.”

Lear sighed. “My God you are a pain in the ass.”

“Are you just going to give that reporter Dalcourt’s name and address and hope for the best?” His tone walked the line between bitterness and incredulity.

“No. A little birdie is going to tell her that I’m leaving town and that it has something to do with this affair thing. Naturally she’ll follow me, I’ll get her to meet me and then I’ll dangle our little brother in her face. The story will be so juicy she’ll have to bite.”

“Why don’t you do that here?” Baldwin asked.

“Dalcourt doesn’t live here. He lives in some dinky town in Wyoming called Wildsage. And I’m luring her to Wyoming to make sure she does her job and latches on to him, there. I can’t risk her getting distracted by you and your antics.”

“What if she refuses to bite and decides to return here?” Baldwin asked. The uncharacteristic fear in his voice was unnerving.

“She won’t. If you knew what I know about Dalcourt, you’d be drooling over this too,” Lear said.

“Finding dirt on Dalcourt is damn near impossible. He’s too shadowy,” Baldwin said. “You have got to tell me what you have on him.”

“I can’t. I’ve already said too much. The less you know about this the better it is for you and me.”

Baldwin laughed even louder. “You think that little pipsqueak scares me?”

“I didn’t say that. It’s my job to make sure your name stays out of these things and that’s what I’m doing.”

“Okay, okay.” Baldwin fell silent. “Once he finds out you that you’ve fucked him, he’s going to be pissed.”

“He won’t find out unless you tell him,” Lear said.

“I’m not going to tell him. But he will find out nevertheless. Doing that sort of thing was his job remember?”

“Okay so what if he does,” Lear said.

“You just need to be prepared.”

“I am because I know how to get him where he hurts,” Lear said.

“What if he manages to get that reporter off his trail?”

“He’ll have no choice but to do what I say if he knows what’s best for him,” Lear said.

“You’re a killer Lear, you know that don’t you.”

“That’s why you have me on your team,” Lear replied.

“Dalcourt’s our brother, why would you even think about doing that to him?” Baldwin asked.

We all have to make sacrifices for the family and it’s time he made his. “Don’t worry about it. I have to go or else I’ll miss my flight. I’ll talk to you later.”

Lear ended the call and glanced at his luggage beside the front door. He checked his watch. He had just enough time to get to the airport, to check in and head to the bar for a drink. He needed a few drinks before he dealt with his younger brother.


Blindfolded Jake sat on his haunches. He felt a gentle brush of his Master’s finger across his chin.

“Relax Orchid,” Max said. “I can see the tension rising in your shoulders.”

“Yes, Master,” Jake replied with a sigh. He opened his thoughts to the messages his body was sending to his brain. The gentle sting of the rough rope entwined around his wrists as they lay nestled in the crevice of his upper back.

Jake inhaled deeply and centered his mind concentrating on the sensation of his body as he knelt on the floor. The plush, soft carpet enveloped his knees. It smelled of fresh flowers from the cleaner that their wife loved to use. He adjusted his position on the carpet, spreading his legs farther apart further increasing the tension on his legs. He groaned with pleasure, then flexed his chest and back muscles. Stimulated to the fullest, his mind threatened to overload.

“Orchid focus on my loving embrace,” Max said.

Jake sighed. “Yes Master.”

Stay in the present. Bondage had been the best thing Max had given him for handling his anxieties. Throughout their training, Max said the core of Jake’s anxiety was rooted in his tendency to stray away from the moment.

The rope around his torso tightened. Not enough to restrict his breathing but just enough to send waves of arousal to his dick. Instantly, all errant thoughts fled his mind.

“I love you Master,” he said.

“I love you too Orchid,” Max replied.

Jake tilted his head to one side. Master’s clean fresh scent wafted to his nose. Heat spread across his cheeks and his heart fluttered. He realized Max was inches away from. His hot breath dusted Jake’s cheek. It moved then he felt firm lips touch his. Jake opened his mouth, and Max’s tongue slid inside. Sweet and gentle, the kiss made his body tingle and his cock pulse. His hands, though bound elegantly behind his back with rope, tensed as he fought the urge to try to break free of his bonds and give his Master a passionate kiss.

He opened his eyes as Max pulled away. Jake mewled his protest. His cock was harder than before and he wanted more. He grimaced in order to maintain control.

“No,” Max said sharply.

A wave of adrenaline surged through his body. Jake allowed his head to fall back, as his eyes closed and his mouth opened. A calloused fingertip brushed lightly against his cheek.

“Enjoy my love,” Max said. His deep baritone voice melted Jake’s soul. “I’ll come back to you in a moment.”

Jake listened as Max expertly untied the ropes around Ally. She moaned softly as Max kneaded her skin. After a while, he heard her contented sigh.

“How do you feel?” Max asked.

“Good,” Ally said with a dulcet tone.

“Present yourself to me,” Max said.

Jake heard the gentle thud of Max’s feet as he walked to him.

“Orchid,” Max said.

“Yes Master?”

“Time to move on, come back to me,” Max said.

“Okay,” Jake replied.

Max removed the blindfold. Jake opened his eyes. The world around him seemed brighter. The colors more distinct. Max loosened the knots and deftly unwound the rope from Jake’s torso. Max set the jute rope aside and massaged Jake’s chest and arms. They sprang back to life this time bringing forth a surge of energy.

“Oh God,” Jake yelped.

His body was on fire with need. He craved his Master’s touch.

“You feel it,” Max said.

“I need you so badly, please give me more pleasure. Fuck me please,” Jake said practically whining.

“I will. But not yet.”

Max massaged his chest and back. His calloused hands were like sand paper further stimulating him. Max’s hands traveled the length of his arms and legs, grazing Jake’s aching dick.

“How do you feel?” Max asked.

“Good. Master, I want more.”

“I know you do. I will give it to you in time. But first you must pleasure me. Go to the bed.”

Jake did as was told. Once on the bed, he smiled, happy that he was able to serve Max.

“Flower suck Jake’s cock first, don’t stop until I tell you,” Max said. “Keep going until he’s on the verge. Jake, you are not to cum. Your orgasms are mine. Your cum is mine. You cannot shoot your load until I tell you. No matter what your body demands, ignore it and obey me.”

Jake licked his lips and nodded.

“You may proceed Ally,” Max said.

Jake gasped as her lips wrapped around his dick. His opened his mouth and let his head fall back as she worked his shaft with her tongue. Max licked and nipped his neck, sucking and kissing his burning flesh. Pressure built up in Jake’s balls as she pumped his shaft, alternately mouthing his mushroom tip while Max left a trail of pain on the side of his neck.

“Master please,” Jake said as a tear rolled down his cheek.

He didn’t know how much more he could take. His Master was an expert at giving him blue balls, keeping him on the brink, allowing him to see the edge but not letting him go over it. After a couple of years of play Jake was better at maintaining his control, but he was not that good. His ability to stave off his impending orgasm was starting to slip.

“You can stop now Flower. Orchid is on the verge. Aren’t you my love?”

“Yes Master,” Jake said. He closed his eyes and settled his mind on unsexy things like the work that awaited him tomorrow.

“Deep breaths Orchid. Listen to my voice and come back to me.”

Floating somewhere above them, his mind came back to the moment. He heard them kiss then stop.

“Oh God I’m so hard,” Jake whined.

“Then you’re ready for the next part. This time you can watch,” Max said. “Ally suck me.”

Buy Link-  Siren Bookstrand-


Peyton lives in Michigan where she dreams of summers that aren't so humid. She and her husband have been married for over a decade years and he often lends a helping hand or opinion or two when she's writing a steamy scene.

She loves to travel and hopes to make it to a romance writers convention sometime soon to meet her idols in the genre without getting too much "stalkage" in.

When she is not on the net, she is reading about the life of her latest "book boyfriend" or creating one in her own works. If you'd like to to contact her. Drop her an e-mail. She loves hearing from her fans and admirers.

My Blog: 

Hot, Sexy and Shared- Erotic Romances by Peyton Brittany Clarke-

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Monday, 22 August 2016

Night of the Storm - Romantic Suspense 99 Cents 99p Excerpt and Details

Set in Rhodes and on the fictional island of Asteri off the Turkish coast, Night of the Storm involves Melissa, a young photographer, who travels to Greece to investigate the true story of her boyfriend's death and uncovers a wildlife smuggling syndicate trying to peddle a very rare and valuable animal.

(If you like romantic suspense set in the Greek islands, why not also try The English Daughter, set in Corfu?)

99p on Amazon UK 

99 Cents on Amazon 

Excerpt Below


Andrew sat on the cliff below the castle wall and watched the sky. Far below, the Aegean was a deep rust in the setting sun. Wind gusted against his back. At his feet barley and rockroses, a cushion of yellow vetch growing in the ruins, small red and white flowers whose names Melissa would know.
Down on the beach men moved, dark shapes against the sand. A small boat rode at anchor. Stiffly, Andrew shifted position. From the corner of his eye he saw a stocky, dark-haired man standing a bottle of retsina down on a rock, wiping it carefully with a handkerchief. He nodded a greeting.
Then, to his left, another movement -

Two men looked down at him. One pushed at his body with a foot. 'He's out cold, no problem. Do it.' The other spun the cap from the bottle, poured the contents over Andrew, put the bottle between the sleeping fingers. Then they both rolled him over the edge.
A rattle of falling scree, then silence.


England, 1996

'I should have known I'd find you here.'
The cool voice cut through the beat of straining wings. Gulls, oystercatchers and sanderling were exploding from an English estuary, darkening the ice-blue March sky. Katherine Hopkins had just marched straight across the sands, disturbing hundreds of birds roosting on the beach.
'And a good day to you, too,' Melissa said dryly, squinting up at the tall figure. Freezing and cramped after lying motionless behind a breakwater for hours, she had just lost a shot: a vital consideration since nature photography was part of her living.
'You're full of surprises, Katherine,' she observed now through chill-flayed lips. 'I thought you only liked your animals stuffed or sautéed.'
'Always so sure of yourself,' answered Katherine, 'Always so right.' She ignored the sights and sounds of alarm around them: birds did not buy anything. Coming to look the site over in private, she had been intensely irritated to realise that Melissa Haye was there first.
'But you've never actually beaten me. I always win in the end. Don't I?'
Melissa shrugged and snapped the cap onto her 600mm lens, fingers tingling with returning life. Unlike her own windswept hair, not a strand of Katherine's dark chignon stirred in the crisp air. Looking over business-dynamo Katherine Hopkins, the trousers tailored to those sleek legs, the scarlet jacket and silken cravat, Melissa wondered why an intelligent woman should find it so hard to accept that anyone was different from her.
What was done was done. Because of local opposition and a campaign spearheaded by Melissa herself, Katherine had failed to build one of her Total Woman Centres on this estuary. To Katherine the horseshoe of cliffs, the closer profile of river and sea, sands and reedbeds, mudflats and marsh, was a barren landscape, evocative as the moon but unproductive.
'Remember the paper which "no longer required" you?' Katherine continued, grinding a razorshell under one green boot. 'Remember the "lost" photo commissions? That was down to me. A couple of phone calls in the right places was all it took.'
'Now you've reminded me...' Melissa scooped a beanbag camera-support, hat and veiling into jacket pockets, her back icy where Katherine's shadow fell. It would be great, she thought, if Katherine could let the past alone, but, on and off, Kate Hopkins had been trying a long time to block her career. Looking back, Melissa acknowledged that Katherine's vindictiveness had actually spurred her on by making her do more, try harder. She laughed softly.
'I never thanked you for that, did I?' She glanced up again at her nemesis. They both knew why Katherine detested her. It had nothing to do with Melissa's work.
Katherine's patrician cheekbones turned a delicate pink. 'What is your problem?' she demanded. 'Total Woman Centres provide a service for thousands.'
At fifty pounds an entry ticket, Melissa wondered how many thousands were being favoured. Katherine though was a woman with a mission: already, at thirty-four, one of the wealthiest women in Britain, with her 24-hour shopping and healthcare stores established in every major city in Europe. Her business didn't need more expansion, but Katherine was greedy.
'A pity, then, that the people here voted to leave things as they are.' Cradling her camera, sweeping a rapid look over the area she had been stalking to make sure she would forget none of her photo gear, Melissa rose stiffly to her feet. The waders would not settle now until she and Katherine were gone.
'You can't possibly pretend it ends now,' snapped Katherine. 'This is a prime site...'
'I know.' The estuary was a focal point for local families. In summer, these sands rang with children's voices. In winter, mudflats and saltings upstream tingled to the cries of curlew.
Melissa smiled, then frowned, the taste of sea-salt catching for an instant in her throat. 'We should go.' Accustomed to numbness in her legs after a photo-shoot, she started to limp briskly towards the dunes.
'....perfect for the sensitive development I had proposed -'
Abruptly Katherine broke off, instinctively shying away as a storm of Brent geese flew in overhead. Melissa stopped, throwing back her blonde head to track the birds gossiping and grunting in flight: an everyday miracle. 'Amazing!' she murmured, thirst and cold forgotten.
The dark chattering swarm sharpened her responses to the estuary. Andrew should have been here to see this, she thought, hands tightening on the camera.
Memories, too strong to be denied, welled in her. As grief threatened to break out again, it helped Melissa to know that Andrew's favourite place was safe: that she and the local people who had once been Andrew's neighbours had made it safe.
'Wide-eyed enthusiasm doesn't work with me. Is that how you won the locals over, turning on the little girl charm?' Pausing when she did, Katherine was looking at her sidelong.
Melissa clicked her tongue and chuckled: she was actually grateful for Katherine's presence and sharp comments. 'You'll never know. Meetings are over, and so is the voting. People like their sand and "mud" as it is.'
'So it would seem.' Green eyes showed gold for an instant as Katherine acknowledged that unpalatable fact. Dismissing the estuary development from her immediate calculations with a brisk shake of her head, Katherine moved when Melissa did, keeping pace with her opponent as they left the beach and began to thread through the tall, twisting corridors of dunes.
As they walked, Melissa moving sure as a skier over soft dry sand and clumps of tough marram grass, Katherine's green eyes flashed up her sand-coloured fatigues and gloves, flitted over the younger woman's delicate complexion, gold brows and lashes, shoulder length silky blonde hair. Her rival would probably have to diet to stop those soft body curves, the round lines of an open face, neat nose, from blurring into flab.
Katherine's lips twitched with satisfaction. Those who thwarted her always paid. Melissa Haye had lost before, but it seemed she had still not learned her lesson. Throughout the last decade, their paths had crossed too often, both professionally and personally.
Andrew Thornhill had been Katherine's personal assistant and occasional lover. Recognising how his attractively-uneven, maturing looks and ready enthusiasm could be a foil to her poised, subtle fire, she had given him the chance of a great career. Yet he had been a disappointment, preferring the safe Melissa Haye.
Katherine's lips tensed, umber sculptured eyebrows drawing together as she negotiated a litter of pebbles and feathers on the narrowing dune path. Although it had piqued her to be rejected for some romping teenager, it had cost her nothing. Andrew had been young, and so could be excused his choice. She had wished him well, and it seemed he had been happy - he had lived with Melissa Haye until his sudden death in Rhodes, two years ago.
Old history. Katherine shook herself, consigning Andrew Thornhill to oblivion, and returned to her present enemy now peeling off her gloves, that prying long lens nestled in the crook of an arm.
'I'm watching you, Melissa Haye. One day you're going to make a serious mistake.'
The threat: always a good sign she was doing her job, reflected Melissa wryly. Behind, the distant tide hissed in her ears like an indrawn breath.
'Then we'll see who pays.'
There it was, a gold-plated promise of revenge. Melissa was surprised at how little she felt.
'Nothing to say?' Katherine liked proof of attention.
Melissa sighed. 'Can't we call a truce for once, Katherine?' Fishing into a trouser pocket for her favourite silver seahorse earrings, she hooked them deftly into her ears whilst cresting a dune-top and dipping down the other side. These silver seahorses were special: Andrew had bought them for her on Rhodes...
Katherine was coming at her again, leaning forward as she kicked through rabbit-marked sand. Her wide, up-tilting eyes were sharp.
'You disgust me,' she said, scornful of any olive branch. Her rapid gaze, fixing on Melissa's silver seahorse jewellery, became dismissive. 'Everything you are. Everything you stand for. Cross me again and I'll finish you for good.'
Katherine pushed past Melissa, striding on towards the track and her black four-wheel drive, towards civilisation and her plans for revenge.


Clutching her camera, Melissa stared out to sea. She no longer thought of Katherine's threats. The past had returned.
Andrew Thornhill, with his straight brown hair, craggy nose and keen smile. Six-one in his stockinged feet, and broadening. He had blushed when he first saw her at the local wildlife group meeting at Wells-next-the-Sea. Later, walking with Melissa by the sea shore, Andrew had asked her out. He was twenty then, Melissa seventeen.
They had lived together for eight years.
Still the memories flowed. His walk, his voice, his scent. His lethal sloe gin. His listening face. His hilarious imitation of a love-struck diplomat. The way he double-knotted his shoelaces. The way he liked 'messing about' round rock-pools. The way he made love -
'Stop this!' The heavy camera trembled on Melissa's arm. Andrew had died two years ago, and still she was struggling to come to terms with it. She had to get away, find a different direction. But there was something she had to do first: a secret, private mission behind her next assignment.
Her bags were always packed. She loved roving - new places, new people. She was due to go to Greece in April, the peak time for the amazing spring flowering and bird migration in the region, stay on the remote eastern island of Asteri, just off the coast from Turkey, whilst she researched her latest travel series: 'Paradise under Threat.' She could bring that trip forward, fly to Rhodes, take the light airplane to Asteri.
It would be expedient to drop out of circulation in England until a certain brunette forgot her. Kate Hopkins had a spiteful memory and a long business arm.
Melissa laid her camera down and sat on the shadowed side of the dunes, nimble fingers digging into the cold sand. The ebbing, mournful cry of a curlew dragged at her insides as she swallowed, faintly nauseated.
Two years ago, due to join Andrew on Rhodes for a holiday, she had been summoned instead to identify his body.

Lindsay Townsend 

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Guest blog: Shelly Alexander - 'It's In His Smile'

She’s risking it all on a dream career…until his smile convinces her to risk her heart on love.

Miranda Cruz isn’t just the best darned waitress in town anymore; she’s Red River’s newest innkeeper. All she has to do is renovate the inn, find the contractor that has disappeared with her life’s savings, and prove that she is the respectable business owner she’s always dreamed of being. Easy, right? Especially for the intelligent Miss Cruz who never depends on anyone, including a man. Until a gorgeous old flame shows up and reignites a fire that has been simmering for seven long years and could send her dreams up in smoke.

Acclaimed environmental architect, Talmadge Oaks, returns home to Red River to settle family business. He plans to get in and get out as quickly as possible because a professional catastrophe is waiting for him back in the Pacific Northwest. When an unforeseen snag keeps him in Red River longer than expected, he finds himself entangled with the floundering renovations of his late grandmother’s old Victorian inn. Handy with a hammer, Talmadge offers to help the inn’s beautiful new owner, but his motives aren’t completely selfless. Will his secret demolish everything they are building? Or will their undeniable passion and love be enough to hold them together?
Excerpt from Chapter 1:

Miranda Cruze was sure that getting hot and bothered at a wake broke at least one of the unwritten rules of funeral etiquette. Especially since she was the hostess.
Ms. Bea, Miranda’s friend and mentor, deserved more respect.
The scent of freshly baked oatmeal and raisin cookies drifted over the bar that separated the kitchen from the dining area to fill the room and hopefully bring some comfort to the mourners. Miranda pulled the last batch from the oven and dished them onto a plate with a spatula.
The heat climbing up her legs to settle between her thighs was from the oven, right?
Right. Of course it was the oven. Or her black formfitting pants. She probably should’ve bought the next size up.
It definitely was not because of Bea’s hot and handsome grandson, Talmadge. His mere presence was absolutely not the cause of her throat turning to chalk dust or her rusty girl parts turning a flip or her need to stay on the other side of the funeral parlor, the other side of the graveside service, and the other side of the room. All damn day. Until she felt like she’d been playing a game of keep-away and he was it.
No, the heat seeping into every single inch of her five-feet-two-inch body was not because of Red River’s prodigal son--a leader in green architecture made famous for his environmentally friendly designs and for bringing hotel chains around the world into the age of energy efficiency--come home to bury his beloved grandmother.
Definitely the oven. She kicked it closed with her black ankle-booted foot. With a toss, her oven mitt landed on the outdated Formica counter.
When she’d bought the small Victorian inn just off Red River’s Main Street from Bea Oaks five months ago, she hadn’t considered that her first public event would be to mourn the loss of her old friend. She hadn’t considered that she’d have to figure out how to run an inn on her own without Bea’s experience and advice. She hadn’t considered that before opening for business, the renovations would chew up most of her savings from waiting tables since she was fifteen.
Obviously, Miranda needed to spend more time considering.
She waded through the ocean of mourners, offered condolences, sidestepped a few boxes of tile that her contractor still hadn’t installed, and placed the fresh plate of cookies on the table of picked-over food.
She arranged a few serving dishes, straightened the stack of napkins, made sure enough clean silverware was available. And then she had no choice but to turn her attention to the roomful of saddened guests who had no idea how much Miranda was really going to miss Beatrice Oaks.
No one except...
Miranda’s stare settled on Talmadge, who was standing on the far side of the inn’s large dining room. His injured arm in a sling under his suit jacket, he chatted with a middle-aged couple.
For the tiniest moment, her heart beat in an odd cadence before it caught the right rhythm again.
She had known Talmadge would come to his grandmother’s funeral. Of course he would. But a small part of her had hoped he wouldn’t show. Another teensy weeny part of her had hoped he would.
Wouldn’t. Would. Wouldn’t. Would.
And then there he had been, his broad shoulders filling the funeral parlor doorway. Eyes rimmed in red for the grandmother who’d raised him.
As they’d done then, her insides were back to doing the jive like she was a contestant on Dancing with the Stars. Or a pole dancer at a gentlemen’s club. Because Miranda was pretty sure that only a person of questionable habits would have carnal thoughts at a funeral.
Another wave of heat flamed through her. Gah!
Sandy hair slicked back, Talmadge’s strong jaw moved as he spoke to the middle-aged couple. Mid sentence he turned and locked gazes with Miranda like he knew she’d been watching him. His lips stopped moving, and he just stared at her.
The hint of a smile settled onto his lips, and she suddenly found it hard to breathe.
Her gaze flitted away, and she offered a kind word to a guest who walked past, then busied herself with rearranging the food. Maybe the ham should go next to the mashed potatoes? Should her homemade oatmeal cookies really be next to the sauerkraut? And should her obnoxious female pheromones be spewing sexual attraction so close to the deviled eggs?
That might actually be a health department violation, now that she thought about it. Note to self: no pheromone spewing when the inspectors come to give their stamp of approval.
Talmadge returned his attention to the couple, shook the man’s hand, and headed...toward her.

Shelly Alexander


#1 Bestseller in Contemporary Romance
#1 Bestseller in Contemporary Women's Fiction
#1 Bestseller in Romantic Comedy
#1 Bestseller in Romantic Series

A 2014 Golden Heart® finalist, Shelly Alexander grew up traveling the world, earned a bachelor's degree in marketing, and worked in the business world. With four older brothers and a sister, she watched every Star Trek episode ever made, joined the softball team instead of ballet class, and played with G.I. Joes while the Barbie Corvette stayed tucked in the closet. When she had three sons of her own, she decided to escape her male-dominated world by reading romance novels and has been hooked ever since. Now, she spends her days writing sassy and steamy contemporary romances while tending to a miniature schnauzer name Omer, a tiny toy poodle named Mozart, and a pet boa constrictor named Zeus.

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Friday, 12 February 2016

Lindsay Townsend: 'The English Daughter' Romantic Suspense - Only 99p/99Cents

Young widow Val Baker restores musical instruments, but fears her relationship with her Greek-Italian family on Corfu is broken beyond repair.

Returning to the island to work on a rare piano belonging to her Greek friend Alexia, she finds her dreams haunted by memories of Hilary; a young English girl raped and murdered ten years before. Val determines to uncover the truth about the case, and set to rest her own doubts about the involvement of her father, Yiannis, and half-brother, Markos, both policemen who were involved in the original investigation.

Joined by her friend Harry, Val begins to unravel the threads. When two strange tokens arrive, one for Alexia's daughter Chloe and one for Val, it becomes clear that Hilary's unknown killer is on Val's trail. Her search for the truth becomes a race for life.

Previously published by Severn House.

Buy the ebook now: Amazon UK Amazon USA
Also in Audio

Read Chapter One

Another excerpt:

They returned to an arcaded street where they could stroll side by side, and Harry released Val’s fingers. Perversely, Val was disappointed.

‘Wait, please.’ Harry crouched in the middle of the alley to retie one shoelace. Steve and Judith pushed round them. Judith, counting caged birds, called, ‘There’s another!’

Staring down at Harry, Val wondered if he was trying to put her off balance. Even as she thought it, he glanced up, straight at her. ‘How about that visit to your workshop right now?’

‘No cemetery?’ Val teased back.

Harry laughed, but said, ‘Or you go on alone there, if you want. Time in your own place.’ He rose, looking her up and down, his face hardening. ‘You’ve had enough today.’

Did she trust Harry? Could she really rely on him?

‘Val.’ Harry’s voice returned Val to the middle of the alley. ‘What do you say? A simple yes will do.’

Since when did he become so bossy? Val marvelled, uncertain what to make of this new Harry. She opened her mouth but was forestalled by Judith. Her daughter ran back up the street and cannoned into her legs.

‘There’s a poster round the corner of Beauty and the Beast! Can we go, Mummy, please?’

Val drew Judy out of the road and knelt in front of her daughter. Had she and Judith been alone, she would have happily gone to see her child’s favourite film, but asking Steve or Harry to do so was unfair.

‘Judy, I don’t think—’ she began, when Steve touched her arm.

‘It’s no problem,’ he said, quietly. ‘There’s a film starting in about twenty minutes. Won’t do me any harm.’

Harry took out his wallet and thrust a wad of euros at Steve. ‘Have an ice-cream while you’re about it,’ he remarked, nodding at Judy.

Val admitted it made sense. Her workshop really wasn’t the place for Judy and they all needed a lift after that family reunion.

‘Right, but come straight back to the workshop as soon as the film’s over. You’re clear about the address? And you know where you’re going?

‘You put Steve up to that,’ she said, waving them off, watching until they had turned the corner.

‘Did I?’ Harry was looking past her, right over her head.

‘What?’ Val turned, her eye drawn to a poster celebrating the return of the ‘International Performer’ Stefan Gregory to Corfu. Hear him live at the Achillion! the poster proclaimed, a horrible irony. ‘I need a newspaper, Harry.’

‘There’s a little shop three doors down. I’m sure they’ll sell them.’ Harry stepped round Val and was off. ‘You’ll translate the crime reports?’ he called back. ‘I still don’t read Greek so well.’

Val trotted to catch up. ‘Why do you want to know?’

Harry swung round. ‘No, Val. The question is, why do you?’

‘Why are you still thinking like a policeman? You’re as bad—’ Val stopped the rest of the complaint. She didn’t want her father or Markos shadowing them, least of all Markos.

As bad as Nick, finished Harry in his own mind. Maybe he should go after Judy and Steve. The rest of this evening was going to be a bust.

‘This is it.’ Val set her shoulder to the workshop door.

‘Good God,’ Harry said.

‘You like it?’ Val was surprised. Most visitors to Nonno’s workshop were overwhelmed. Nick had said, ‘How do you move in here?’ but Harry entered the room as she did, with a quiet confidence.

They breathed in together, sharing the scents of resin, polish and wood. His eyes were everywhere, taking in the dismantled pianos, lighting on the old hard swatches of felt, sweeping to the stone sink in the corner and up the walls with their shelves and tools. He turned about in a circle.

‘Whenever I picture you at work, I’ll always see you here.’

Val nodded, swallowing. She was foolishly touched by Harry’s sensitivity and ashamed of her earlier churlishness. ‘I’m sorry.’

‘Don’t apologize. You say sorry far too much.’

She walked over to him. ‘Bend down - you’ve got a cobweb.’

Harry half crouched and she lifted spider and web off the bronzing temple close to his left ear, marvelling at the Viking hair, the thick golden brows and eyelashes, pitying his slightly receding hairline. She dangled the spider on the closed shutters, startled by her own disappointment that Harry had made no attempt to touch her in return.

The heat’s getting to me, she thought, turning from the shutters straight into Harry’s arms.

‘Hello,’ he said.

‘Hello back.’ Aware that the next move must come from her, she transferred the local newspaper from her left hand into both hands, gripping it in front of her, and rested her head against his breastbone.

There was no sense of wonder, or fireworks, as there had been with Nick. Val was oddly divorced from her senses. She didn’t want more than this floating peace. ‘I can’t—’

‘Sssh. It’s all right.’ He brushed her jaw with his fingers, seeking her chin to raise her head. ‘I only want to look at you.’

‘You’ve seen me lots of times,’ Val muttered at his stomach.

‘True, but not here.’

‘We’re not in Fenfield,’ she agreed, and lifted her face to his.

In the distance there was a knocking. Val didn’t connect it with the workshop until Harry placed a warning finger on her lips.

‘Let me in!’ Markos hammered on her door. As Val tensed, he kicked the solid black wood of the outer door and left without noticing that it was unlocked.

‘That was lucky,’ Val said, as his pounding feet faded away.

Harry spread a hand across the middle of her back and teased her closer. ‘You’ve already told me about Markos, but am I missing something?’

Val batted him with the paper. ‘Stop being a copper. It’s not important.’

‘Isn’t it?’

‘Leave it alone, Harry.’

‘Fair enough, Val.’ He released her and strode to the window, strumming his left hand down the length of one shutter. ‘What about that newspaper report you wanted to see?’

Sensing that even this activity would be the prelude to more questions, Val spread the paper on the bench. Harry came to stare over her shoulder.

‘Well?’ he prompted above her, leaning on his braced arm, his palm spread on the bench amongst a tiny, forgotten pile of old wood shavings.

‘It says very little.’ Even as she scanned the pages covering the latest murder, she wondered just how much her companion understood. Not only about the body found at the Achillion.

‘A young woman’s naked body, discovered amongst trees in the grounds of the Achillion,’ she paraphrased. ‘No one seems to know who she is, what nationality. It says she died of a broken neck.’

‘Her killer must be physically strong, then,’ said Harry.

Val’s fingers traced the lines. ‘The paper speaks of other wounds that the police won’t disclose. It doesn’t say she was raped, but people are already talking about the Achillion killer striking again.’

‘How many times has this happened? Bodies of naked young women found in a well-known beauty spot?’

‘I wouldn’t call the Achillion beautiful.’

‘Tourist spot. Whatever. What’s going on, Val? When Markos trumpeted his news, you went white.’

Why did she feel tempted to confess? ‘It was years ago,’ she said, covering her confusion by folding up the newspaper. ‘An English tourist called Hilary Moffat was killed here. She vanished from Corfu town and was found raped and murdered in the grounds of the Achillion the following night.’

‘What distances are we talking here? Between Corfu town and the Achillion?’

‘About ten kilometres. An easy road south.’

‘So it’s likely the killer had some kind of transport. And possibly an appealing manner, to lure the girl into it?’

‘I should think so.’ Val had considered these points long ago. ‘It would be hard to snatch someone off the streets: too many people would see.’

‘Were there any suspects the first time?’

Val shook her head. ‘I don’t know. The newspapers never mentioned anyone. No one was charged.’

‘And the first victim was also naked?’

Val nodded, blushing as Harry looked at her, his head tilted to one side so that he could see all her face.

‘You knew her.’

‘She was a music student like me, that’s all.’

She expected more - what, she couldn’t say. More questions, possibly. Instead, Harry’s face closed down as she spoke.

‘I see.’ He returned to his vantage point beside the shutters.

‘What? What do you see?’ Val became more exasperated as Harry smiled  and not a pleasant smile.

‘Not comfortable, is it, being shut out?’

‘I’m not . . . It’s difficult . . .’ Val stammered, alarmed by her unexpected wish to please Harry. ‘I’m probably crazy, anyway. Too many dreams.’

Harry wandered back to her, reached under the bench and lifted out her tall stool. ‘Why don’t we start again? You sit here and explain as much as you feel easy to tell me.’

Val sat on the stool and glanced at her watch.

‘We’ve plenty of time. The film won’t have started yet,’ Harry coaxed.

‘I know.’ Anxious about confessing her involvement with Hilary, Val chewed on her lower lip.

Harry crossed the stone flags yet again and peered through the gap in the shutters. ‘Nothing you say will change my good opinion of you— Hello! There’s someone outside. He’s coming here.’

A brisk rattling at the inner door.